The In-Memory Road Map

September 19, 2012 by Holger Eriksdotter 0

Photo: fotolia.com

SAP introduced its SAP HANA platform in the spring of 2010. Just about two years later, the company reported a turnover of €200 million, more than 400 customers adopting the new technology, 160+ live installations, and more than 65,000 end-users.

Customers replacing a conventional database with SAP HANA in-memory technology typically enjoy process response-times improved 100-fold to 1000-fold. With SAP HANA, a query that once took many hours (or even overnight) can be completed in less than two seconds. SAP Executive Board member Dr. Vishal Sikka recently announced what he calls ‘The 10,000 plus Club” – SAP HANA customers who have increased the speed of their queries more than 10,000 times, as compared to hard-disk-based databases.

Originally conceived as an add-on technology for speeding up BI and data warehouse queries, SAP HANA is increasingly taking center stage in the world of enterprise IT. “We are in the process of expanding SAP HANA into a full-fledged database and comprehensive platform that supports SAP applications as well as third-party applications,” says Ingo Brenckmann, a senior developer and SAP HANA program director.

SAP is promoting SAP HANA know-how and innovation with the SAP HANA Distinguished Engineer Program. Established in collaboration with experts from Bluefin Solutions, Deloitte Consulting, and IBM Global Business Solutions, the program is available to all developers, database administrators, and technologists who wish to develop and expand their expertise in supporting SAP HANA-based customer solutions.

Meanwhile, SAP HANA development instances have been available free of charge via Amazon Web Services since mid-May. Developers can use the online platform to design SAP HANA business applications and access the SAP HANA Studio modeling environment, which helps developers create visual data models; more complex logic can be implemented directly as SQL script code and linked with models.

Read on the next page: All planned innovations at a glanceFuture functions and enhancements will come in the form of service packs (SP), released twice annually. The current release is SP4. In the next release, SAP plans to include a number of new features such as:

  • ERP on SAP HANA readiness will enable customers to use SAP HANA technology exclusively, replacing conventional databases, instead of as an auxiliary.
  • Packaged Suite Analytics to carry out complex calculations directly on the SAP HANA database level (in the main memory instead of on the application level), which can greatly accelerate ERP reporting, for example.
  • New applications “powered by SAP HANA”: SAP plans to add to the catalog of SAP HANA-based applications apps that can process large volumes of data in real time. (There are more than 30 SAP HANA-based applications currently available, including Sales and Operations Planning and Smart Meter Analytics.)
  • Improved support for SAP HANA developers for BI, SQL, monitoring, backup and recovery, and more.

“With these innovations, we are taking a decisive step towards establishing SAP HANA as the primary database for business-critical applications,” says Prakash Darji, global vice president of Data Warehousing Solutions & the SAP HANA Platform. “The overall goal, though, is to enhance the SAP HANA ecosystem.”

The road map indeed extends well beyond the next service pack; it foresees numerous SAP HANA-based applications that deepen integration with the SAP Business Suite and improve usability in private cloud scenarios. Also planned: support for more third-party tools; native integration of the big data framework Hadoop; and deeper integration of the relational database model Sybase IQ. (Fixed release dates have not yet been set for these enhancements.)

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